Lynn Bradakis wanted a special frame for a photo of her 6-month-old daughter, Taylor.
When she couldn’t find what she wanted in any store, she designed and made the frame herself.
When her friends saw her creation, they asked Lynn to make them something similar or to bring their ideas to life.
“It slowly blossomed into a home-based business,” said Lynn.
“Taylor is my grandmother’s last name, my Mom’s maiden name and my first name,” said Taylor Sumrall, Lynn’s daughter who is grown and married now. When it came time to name the business, “My grandfather said, ‘It has to be Taylor Made.’ ”
Thus, Taylor Made Designs began 30 years ago.
By 2000, Lynn decided she needed somewhere that wasn’t her house from which to sell her creations.
“Downtown Opelika was chosen as the brick-and-mortar embodiment of Taylor Made Designs, because we believe that downtown is the heart of the city and the only place we want to be the home of our brand,” said Taylor.
“I obviously grew up in the business,” said Taylor. “I’ve been around it my whole life. I always said I was going to go off to college and do something else, and I did.”
Taylor worked for a medical device company right out of college. In 2013, both she and her mother decided it was time for a change.
“It turns out, we make a great partnership,” Taylor said. Now, Taylor manages the store and runs its social media campaigns, while her mother continues to design.
What They Make, They Sell
“We strive to make handmade jewelry and accessories so that our customers have that perfect finishing touch that doesn’t break their bank,” said Taylor. In 2015, the mother-daughter duo added an Opelika-themed product line known as Only in Opelika to their shelves.
“There was a lack of products to celebrate the great city of Opelika,” said Taylor. “We’ve had our souvenir products ordered and shipped away as far as Washington state and even overseas. How wonderful is it that we live in a city that stays with you even if you move away?”
This Christmas season, Taylor Made Designs will celebrate its 19th year on Opelika’s Eighth Street, right in the heart of the historic downtown area.
Shop Small, Shop Local, Shop Alabama
“A lot of people like to give nice jewelry at affordable prices for gifts,” said Taylor, so “Christmas is one of our most fun and busy times. Fourth quarter is a huge season for anybody in retail,” she added.
“We are asking that you take extra care this holiday shopping season to shop with small businesses,” Taylor said last November when downtown Opelika cut a ribbon to kick off holiday shopping there. The 2019 holiday shopping season kicked off at Taylor Made Designs with a Nov. 3 open house.
“When I hear someone say they had trouble find a parking spot, I hear the answered prayers of us and other business owners,” Taylor said. “Shopping local is a big deal for us, because it is how our downtown has survived.”
“All of the wonderful collections that I can offer inside Taylor Made Designs and the products we offer as a whole are possible because our community made the decision to shop small and to shop local,” added Taylor. “Nothing makes me happier than being able to brighten your day with a friendly conversation or wrapping up the perfect gift for a special occasion.”
Lynn and Taylor are grateful every day for the love and support from their customers and their city.
“Thank you for helping keep my family business a part of the downtown Opelika community,” Taylor said.
MEMBER SINCE 2018
Taylor Made Designs at 120 S. 8th St. in Opelika is open Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit @tmdopelika on Facebook and Instagram to see Taylor Made Design’s custom and handmade jewelry.
Story by Nancy King Dennis
Photos by Amy Carson Dennis